The pomegranate or Punica granatum is a fruit bearing shrub or small tree growing between five and eight metres tall.
Name: The scientific name for pomegranate is Punica granatum. Punica means City of Carthage and granatum means seedy or grainy nature.
Other common names for pomegranate are anar, rumman, rimmon, and grenade in various languages.
Description: The pomegranate has thorny branches and glossy, oblong leaves. It bears cluster of small orange or red flowers. The fruit is about 10 centimetres in diameter with a red or brownish rind.The interior of the fruit is divided into chambers by a thick, whitish membrane. Each chamber contains numerous tiny seeds - each embedded in juicy red pulp.
Conditions: Pomegranates grow in locations with tropical or warm and temperate climates. They will grow best in long period of dry and hot summers. Pomegranates grow best in neutral soil. Optimal soil pH for pomegranate trees is 5.5 to 7. Alkaline soils can limit and restrict growth. They should be planted in moist but not very saturated soil during late winter or early spring.
Propagation: The easiest method of propagation is to do it by seed. The seeds germinate quickly even if just sprinkled on the soil. Seed propagation method is not used in large scale production. This is because it takes longer for a fruit producing plant to grow from seed than other methods.
The most widely used method is Hardwood Cuttings. Hardwood cuttings are taken from the plant when they have no leaves.
There is also a great possibility of self pollination by bees and hummingbirds.
Pomegranate fruits are juicy and fleshy in nature with edible seeds which are easy to eat.
Pomegranate fruit is used extensively in natural medicine. Pomegranate juice can help maintain excellent blood flow throughout the body. It decreases the risk of heart attack and heart strokes.
Pomegranates peel, bark and leaves are used to calm the stomach disorder or diarrhea.
Pomegranate juice has antibacterial and antiviral properties that helps to reduce the effects of dental plaque.
Antioxidants present in pomegranate called Flavonoids are effective in counteracting various cancer radials.
Pomegranate juice is also believed to be helpful for people suffering from anemia, diabetes and Osteoarthritis.
Symbolism in Mythology
Greek : Pomegranate represents life, regeneration, and marriage.
Zoroastrianism: In Zoroastrianism, the pomegranate symbolizes both fecundity and immortality, and is an emblem of prosperity.
Buddhism: Pomegranate is considered one of the blessed fruit along with peach and orange.